It snowed all day here yesterday, and there’s been just as much snow, unusually, in Jerusalem. Which handily if somewhat clumsily gives me an opportunity to post about the Anglican hymn “Jerusalem,” which I only vaguely knew until I sang in an Anglican church choir in university. The poem by William Blake is beautiful, thoughcontinue reading
I am a magazine junkie. These days, that means I read voraciously both online and in paper form. When I was a teenager, I had the good fortune to work at a bookstore, where one of the many perks was the ability to take home “stripped” magazines, i.e., magazines with the title pages ripped offcontinue reading
Il fait froid. But not as cold as this.
This song doesn’t make sense without the two public services currently under attack in Canada: passenger rail and the mail. They’re being strangled off in the same way: starve them of necessary funding so service degrades and the public turns against the service, then move in and axe even more service, secure in the knowledgecontinue reading
It’s a tough time to be a factory worker in an Ontario branch plant.
Another song with a whistle break and the only Japanese-language song ever to top the Billboard pop chart, “Sukiyaki” always makes me happy. The title has nothing to do with the song; it’s just the name of a Japanese dish easily pronounceable in English. (It’s a delicious dish.) The title in Japanese is “Ue ocontinue reading
This will explain a lot: I don’t really know how to download. I’ve never figured out bittorrents either. In some early experimentation with it, though, I ended up with this live performance of Elliot Smith performing John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy”. The original was released in 1971 and then, like all of the Lennon canon, wascontinue reading
Music and running. Some people can’t run without music, even when they’re with other people: they’re the ones you see with earplugs in even when there’s a cheering crowd to buoy them. Then there are those who are as pious about never running with music as those Luddites are about not owning a television. Icontinue reading
I’m sure there are radio stations playing “Sun City” tonight in their reports on the late Nelson Mandela and his extraordinary life as an anti-apartheid leader and the first democratic president of South Africa, but around here, it’s The Special AKA’s “Free Nelson Mandela”. This is an energetic romp that you can enjoy without havingcontinue reading
A friend who also studied Russian has been staying with me so I was happy to rewatch the delightful Russian film from 2008, “Stilyagi” (somewhat misleadingly translated as “Hipsters”) with her. The movie is a musical that takes place in 1950s Moscow, but the songs are from Russian bands in 1980s and early 1990s andcontinue reading